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Ferd Berfel

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Member since: Sat Jan 3, 2015, 12:39 PM
Number of posts: 3,687

Journal Archives

A historian explains why Bernie Sanders is right about the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act


Both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are talking tough about Wall Street reform. But only Bernie Sanders is advocating a reprise of the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act, specifically that section of the Depression-era act that had prohibited commercial banks and investment banks from operating under the same roof. Sanders believes that the repeal of Glass-Steagall in 1999 led to the formation of banks that became “too big to fail,” contributed to the financial crisis in 2008—and will lead to another crisis without corrective legislation.

Most observers think Sanders is on a quixotic quest and, with Wall Street’s political power, the chances of any revival of Glass-Steagall are, like his election to the presidency, slim. Yet Sanders has a strong argument, one that can be effectively made using Citigroup, the two-century old bank that, along with other Wall Street banks, has a history of wreaking havoc on itself and the economy when it mixes commercial banking with investment banking


Even Sandy Weill—who once was proud to be referred to on Wall Street as the “Shatterer of Glass-Steagall”—now seems to agree. In a 2012 interview on CNBC he said, “What we should probably do is go and split up investment banking form banking. Have the banks do something that’s not going to risk the taxpayer dollars, that’s not going to be too big to fail.”


Bernie, correct again. Hillary, Wrong as usual.

Robert Reich: Here’s why mainstream media marginalizes Bernie Sanders


There are 22 states to go with nearly 45 percent of pledged delegates still up for grabs – and Sanders has positive momentum in almost all of them.

Bernie did well last weekend but he can’t possibly win the nomination,” a friend told me for what seemed like the thousandth time, attaching an article from the Washington Post that shows how far behind Bernie remains in delegates.

Wait a minute. Last Tuesday, Sanders won 78 percent of the vote in Idaho and 79 percent in Utah. This past Saturday, he took 82 percent of the vote in Alaska, 73 percent in Washington, and 70 percent in Hawaii.

In fact, since mid-March, Bernie has won six out of the seven Democratic primary contests with an average margin of victory of 40 points. Those victories have given him roughly a one hundred additional pledged delegates.

Voters Keep Investing in Sanders' Revolution, Making Clinton Nervous


The Bernie Sanders campaign has raised 66 percent of its money from donors giving less than $200

As Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton continue to spar over fossil fuel donations, The Hill reports Saturday that Sanders' $44 million March haul "has broken new ground for online political fundraising."

The Sanders campaign announced Friday that it raised more money in March than it did during its record-breaking February. The Democratic presidential hopeful has now received 6.5 million contributions from 2 million donors. Of the $184 million total raised by his campaign so far, 97 percent was given online. The average contribution is just $27.

Reporter Jonathan Swan writes: "His record-breaking sums come in spite of the fact that Sanders relies on small-dollar donors instead of well-financed millionaires and associated super-PACs and does not have a traditional finance team."

According to The Hill's analysis of FEC filings, Clinton "has raised only 18 percent of her money from donors giving less than $200, giving her a narrower fundraising base than Sanders. Sanders’s campaign has raised 66 percent of its money from donors giving less than $200."

Bolstered by Polls, Fundraising Haul, Sanders Surges Forward into Wis. Primary



Sanders is 'in tune with the mood of the American public.'

With boosts from a massive fundraising haul and new poll results, Bernie Sanders is harnessing energy with the Wisconsin primary days ahead.

A Public Policy Polling survey in Wisconsin released Thursday found Sanders with a 6-point lead—49-43 percent—over Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. He had a particularly strong lead—65-28—with voters under 45, while the only group with whom Clinton claimed a significant lead was seniors at 63-30 percent.

A Fox Business Network Poll also released Thursday showed Sanders with a similar lead—48-43 percent—over Clinton in Wisconsin.

And on Friday, the Sanders campaign boasted that it had reached its goal of beating February's record fundraising haul by raising $44 million dollars in March. "Working people standing together are going to propel this campaign to the Democratic nomination and then the White House," Sanders stated.

As for the Clinton campaign, Seth Abramson, an assistant professor of English at University of New Hampshire, wrote at the Huffington Post that it "is in the midst of an historic collapse—much of it due to the unraveling of support for Clinton among nonwhite voters—and the national media has yet to take any notice."

"In short," he continued:

there simply is no evidence available to suggest that Hillary Clinton’s robust coalition of nonwhite voters still exists

The Disappearance of Hillary Clinton's Healthcare Platform


What would happen if the media lifted the curtain on Clinton's healthcare platform and introduced any level of scrutiny to her proposed improvements on the Affordable Care Act?

In an extraordinary magic trick, performed on a national scale, Hillary Clinton's healthcare platform has been disappeared. While policy analysts, news anchors, and columnists have been engaged in an intense debate over Bernie Sanders’s “Medicare for All” proposal, Clinton’s incremental alternative has escaped almost all scrutiny - even among those who say they prefer it.

Combining the election-season writings of our most prolific, liberal-leaning columnists at the New York Times, Huffington Post, Vox, Mother Jones, Politico, The American Prospect, etc. you’ll find dozens of articles critiquing Sanders's single-payer plan. None have mentioned a single Clinton healthcare proposal as a point of comparison - merely that she supports a philosphy of incremental reform.

Take Paul Krugman, a high-profile advocate of Clinton's approach to healthcare reform. Krugman has published two op-eds in the New York Times and five additional blog posts arguing that "[progressives] should seek incremental change on health care... and focus their main efforts on other issues - that is... Bernie Sanders is wrong about this and Hillary Clinton is right." In all seven pieces, Krugman focuses exclusively on Sanders's single-payer proposal and fails to mention even a single Clinton policy.

The disappearance of the Clinton healthcare platform has even been carried out by pollsters. The Kaiser Health Tracking Survey included a bizarre question in its February 2016 poll, which was widely cited in the press. Respondents were asked to pick one of four possible directions for the future of U.S. healthcare. Among the choices were "The U.S. should establish guaranteed universal coverage through a single government plan" and "Lawmakers should build on the existing health care law to improve affordability and access to care." Thirty-three percent of Democrats chose the single-payer option, while fifty-four percent chose the incremental option. The questions were clearly intended as stand-ins for the Sanders and Clinton healthcare proposals, but note that the single-payer option is a policy, whereas the incremental option mentions no actual policies, but asks respondents whether they support the (universally desirable) outcomes of improving affordability and access.


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